Lido Pimienta
Photography by John Paille

How Lido Pimienta Balances Self-Expression With Becoming a Character

Growing up, Polaris Music Prize-winning singer Lido Pimienta wished she was a boy and chose to wear only oversized overalls, T-shirts and sneakers. “I thought that in order to accomplish this, I had to get rid of everything that, to me, meant ‘woman’ or ‘feminine,’” she says. “I would cry if my mother forced me to wear a dress, and I loathed having to sit down and endure the process of straightening my hair.” We talked to the Colombian-Canadian, who admits she’s now far more into makeup and hair, about what her relationship to beauty is these days.

Does your style influence your music, or is it the other way around?

“My style is a reflection of what I am feeling. So when I am feeling like a queen, I go to my long skirts and gowns and do long braids in my hair. I have managed to figure out what works on my body, my hair and my skin. I have fun with clothes, and I embrace my femininity, but I also really feel like myself in a good oversized sweatshirt and sneakers. Music and style are one, at least in my book.”

Do you do your own makeup before you perform?

“I have two makeup artists, Joseph Hinds and Ruthie Titus, who know my face and make me beautiful. Ruthie also does my hair. It is a ritual of decorating oneself with the full intention of entering a new realm of self-elevation. I enjoy becoming a character that will uplift everyone’s spirits.”

How do you decide what your makeup and hair will be?

“For tours, we pick the outfits first, and they inform what makeup and hair we do. It is a whole production. It is important to reflect my musical voice in my clothes and style as it’s an added element to the music and the performance. Sometimes I feel like doing a dramatic eye or a dark lip, depending on the venue we are performing at. I enjoy brushing out my brows and adding shine and sparkle to my eyes. I connect with my audience not only through my voice but with my eyes, so an intense eye elevates everything.”